PFE

Pfizer, Inc.

53.91
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53.91
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52 weeks

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3 Clinical Trials to Watch in the First Half of 2022

These clinical studies don't just impact the companies conducting them. Key Points Pfizer has a vested interest in Arena's results for etrasimod in treating ulcerative colitis. Roche's upcoming data for Alzheimer's disease candidate gantenerumab could disrupt Biogen's plans. AbbVie's phase 2 results for its cystic fibrosis combo could affect Vertex. Quite a few biopharmaceutical companies expect to report key clinical data in the coming months. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Jan. 12, 2022, Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss three clinical trials especially worth watching in the first half of 2022. Keith Speights: Brian, we're still very early in 2022. There's a lot of data on the way with clinical trials reporting in the first half of the year. Which clinical results are you especially looking forward to seeing? Brian Orelli: Arena (NASDAQ:ARNA), the ticker there is A-R-N-A, it expects data from a phase 3 study of etrasimod in patients with ulcerative colitis. This obviously affects Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) because it's committed to buying Arena for $7 billion, and most of that value is tied up in that drug. That's obviously going to be a big value potential for Pfizer. Roche (OTC:RHHBY) expects data for its Alzheimer's disease drug, gantenerumab. It'll be interesting to see if it can compete with Biogen's (NASDAQ:BIIB) Aduhelm and whether the data looks stronger than Aduhelm had. Then finally, AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) should have some phase 2 data for its triple combination for cystic fibrosis. The data's supposed to come out early in the year, although we won't get the full results until later in the year. The data is obviously going to have a big effect on Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX), which has basically had the cystic fibrosis market all to itself. I saw that Vertex presented at J.P. Morgan [its Jan. 10 healthcare conference], and they didn't sound like they were too worried about AbbVie's potential competition. Keith Speights: I don't think Vertex needs to be too worried at this point. They have such a lock on the market, and unless AbbVie comes out and really demonstrates much superior efficacy, I think Vertex is still going to be in great shape. Brian Orelli: AbbVie, when they run their phase 3 clinical trial, they're almost going to have to do a head-to-head clinical-trial compared to doing it versus placebo. Because I don't think any cystic fibrosis patients would go into a placebo-controlled study at this point when they can obviously get a known medication that works. I feel like they've almost have to do a head-to-head study, and so that'll be harder for AbbVie to prove superiority that way. Keith Speights: If they don't prove superiority, if they just show non-inferiority, which basically shows it's at least as good, I don't think patients are going to be all that willing to switch. If they're on a Vertex CF drug that's working well for them, why would they want to switch? Brian Orelli: Yeah. AbbVie obviously has a shot at getting new patients, but I don't think any doctor would advocate for changing off of a drug that was clearly helping the patient, to a new drug if it's only shown non-inferiority. This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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